The NSCA welcomed Brian Solis to its Virtual Business and Leadership Conference 2021 (BLCv) as the main speaker. The NSCA Business and Leadership Conference is the industry’s most outstanding platform for executive level training and discussion.
Brian’s topic focused on a “Digital Customers Foremost Discussion Informs NSCA Business & Leadership Conference Attendees”. Following his presentation, Sounds and communications, a publication touching the technology and commercial audiovisual applications industry, shared a detailed summary of its keynote address.
Digitally Driven Customer Discussion Informs NSCA Business & Leadership Conference Attendees
by Dan Ferrisi
Yesterday afternoon, NSCA closed the first day of its Virtual Business and Leadership Conference 2021 (BLCv) along with another fascinating session, this one titled “Designing for digital customers first: Focusing on the experience as a driver of breakthrough innovation”. Presented by Brian Solis, Futurist and Global Innovation Evangelist at Salesforce, the hour-long session explored the incredible changes our company has undergone and how these profound shifts in customer expectations are expected to affect business owners in their decision making.
Solis opened the discussion by introducing Digital Darwinism, which describes how technology and society evolve and how organizations can struggle to adapt quickly enough. This is a particularly hot topic, given that, according to Solis’ estimates, the last year saw the transformation accelerate faster than at any point in memory. Much of this, of course, is the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, a truly disruptive event on a personal and professional level. Solis called the start of the pandemic a « uh-oh moment », with businesses and employees forced to adapt, for example by working from home. Digitally focused companies and brands – Amazon and Zoom, for example – were well prepared to capitalize.
Before COVID-19 (or “BC,” as Solis calls it), our society was already on its way to going digital first. This is because Generation C (meaning “Connected Generation”) was on the rise. This generation wants things faster, they want more engagement and interaction, and they want maximum convenience. For Generation C, the most powerful brands are the ones that are part of our lifestyle – brands like Apple, Google, and Amazon. It’s no coincidence that these brands and companies are aligning themselves with the on-demand economy, an economy in which impatience is a virtue. According to Solis, « [Social media] fundamentally changed the way people make decisions. And if businesses are to be successful, they have to face rewired people’s brains.
The pandemic has accelerated all of these trends, pushing us towards General N (ie the « general novel »). This generation no longer cares about going to the grocery store; instead, they receive home delivery. And why bother to go to a restaurant, even when they are open? This is what DoorDash is for. “Deep down inside we have changed,” observed Solis. Indeed, according to his estimate, e-commerce has achieved the equivalent of 10 years of growth in just one year. And he cited a study indicating that 73% of Americans have tried a new type of business or new buying behavior during the pandemic, illustrating the scale of the transformation.
This is why, according to Solis, companies must engage in innovation. He sought to distinguish iteration – finding ways to do the same thing better – with innovation, which New things. And what new things should we do? This is determined by seeing the world through the eyes of customers – recognizing that their expectations have changed. Decision-makers should ask themselves, “How does it feel to do business with our company?” And they should judge the answer against what people demand today. Many customers say, “Doing business with Amazon is so easy. I wish every business interaction was like working with Amazon. What would that mean for a business like yours?
Solis urged everyone to create space for innovation, rather than getting carried away on a daily basis. For example, would your company benefit from having a Chief Innovation Officer (CIO) whose sole objective is to help the company innovate? “If I wait for someone to tell me what to do, then the innovation will happen without me,” Solis warned. And the first step is to recognize that customers and customers will measure your business by the experience you provide. Experience, Solis explained, is the sum of all of the commitments a client has with your organization. A survey indicated that 84% of customers appreciate the experience as much as they appreciate the product or service they are buying. The question is: what kind of experience don’t your customers yet know they want, but, once they’ve got it, they’ll find they can’t live without it? When you find that and innovate to deliver that experience, you will be the Amazon of your market.
Solis concluded with a summary of its six pillars of experiential innovation:
- Define the experience holistically, taking into account the role that each touchpoint plays.
- Draw the world of your customers, through their eyes, against this vision.
- Identify the sticking points, detractors and deal-killers.
- Identify the points to raise the bar and connect emotionally.
- Connect the dots between touchpoints, articulated experiences, products and brand.
- Align the whole organization around the experiences.
Just as Darwinian evolution cannot be resisted, digital Darwinism is a fact. Organizations need to adapt to digital-first customers – all of us Generation N. If your organization does, then maybe the next time there’s a disruption, you’ll be provoking he, rather than to react to he.
Please read the original article here.